Downton Abbey is a historical drama written by Julian Fellowes. The series follows the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them in an Edwardian country house just after the turn of the 20th century, set on the fictional estate of Downton Abbey in the North Riding of Yorkshire.
Lord Crawley sees his family heritage, especially the grand country home Downton Abbey, as his mission in life. The death of his heir aboard the Titanic means distant cousin Matthew Crawley, a Manchester lawyer, suddenly is next in line and accepts moving onto the vast estate with his even more modernist, socially engaged mother, who clashes with his lordship's domineering, conservative ma the dowager. Marrying off the daughters is another concern. Meanwile the butler presides over a staff which serves the family but also lead most of their entire lives in the servants quarters, intriguing amongst themselves.
Reception of the programme was predominantly positive; ratings were extremely high for what is usually considered a "period" show, and the first series picked up a number of awards and nominations after its initial run. It has subsequently become the most successful British costume drama since the 1981 television serial version of Brideshead Revisited, and in 2011 it entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the "most critically acclaimed English-language television show" for the year, becoming the first co-produced US/British show to be recognised as such by the Guinness Book of Records.
Theme to Downton Abbey (Mary-Jess) - http://youtu.be/uCa-Bxl1s1c
Status: Break - Between Seasons
Premiere: September 26, 2010
Genre: Costume Drama | Family | History
Network: ITV1 (United Kingdom)
Airs: Sundays at 09:00 pm
Runtime: 60 Minutes
Season 4 -- Renewed -- Air Date Unknown/TBA
On 23 November 2012, ITV announced that a fourth series has been commissioned. There will also be another Christmas special episode in 2013, with filming to begin in February 2013
Season 3 -- 8 Episodes (+special) -- Sep 16, 2012 to Dec 25, 2012
At the preview of the second series at Highclere Castle on 29 July 2011, it was announced that Fellowes was working on a third series, set during the Roaring Twenties. The series will open in 1920 and cover eighteen months. ITV confirmed the commissioning of a third series on 3 November 2011. The series entered production in early 2012, began filming in February 2012, and will air September 16, 2012 on ITV in the UK, and will air in the United States beginning January 6, 2013. Fellowes has stated that it will include a storyline involving Catholicism.
Academy Award-winning American actress Shirley MacLaine will join the cast as Martha Levinson, Cora's mother. Matt Milne has been cast as Alfred, O'Brien's nephew and the new footman, as well as Cara Theobald as the new kitchen maid Ivy and Lucille Sharp as Martha Levinson's lady's maid Miss Reed.
Last season closed with the reluctant heir to Downton, Matthew Crawley (Stevens), recovered from his war wounds and ready to tie the knot with the eldest of Lord and Lady Grantham's daughters, Lady Mary (Dockery). Meanwhile, Mary's youngest sister, Sybil (Jessica Brown-Findlay), has eloped to Ireland with the political-minded chauffeur, Branson (Allen Leech), and is expecting a child.
In April 2012 Downton Abbey's executive producer, Rebecca Eaton, stated in an interview that during series three a couple will get married, a baby will be born, a well-known character will die, and that there are good scenes between Shirley MacLaine and Maggie Smith.
The returning cast includes Hugh Bonneville, Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle and a host of others, joined by Shirley MacLaine (Oscar for Best Actress, Terms of Endearment), who plays Martha Levinson, the very American mother of Cora, Countess of Grantham (McGovern).
3x01 -- Sep 16, 2012
3x02 -- Sep 23, 2012
3x03 -- Sep 30, 2012
3x04 -- Oct 07, 2012
3x05 -- Oct 14, 2012
3x06 -- Oct 21, 2012
3x07 -- Oct 28, 2012
3x08 -- Nov 04, 2012
Dec 25, 2012 -- Christmas Special:
Set in September 1920. The Crawley family visits Lady Rose and her parents in Scotland. Bates, Anna, Moseley, and O'Brien also make the trip. Edith is surprised to learn that Gregson is in Scotland, and Mary and Matthew disagree about Gregson's motives. Tom remains at Downton with his daughter. The staff looks forward to the approaching country fair, and Carson struggles to keep them concentrating on work. A new housemaid Edna joins staff. Mrs Patmore becomes involved in a romance.
Season 2 Special -- Christmas Special -- December 25, 2011 -- Completed
Season 2 Special -- Behind the Drama -- December 21, 2011 -- Completed
Season 2 -- 8 episodes -- Sept. 18, 2011 to Nov. 06, 2011 -- Completed
Season 1 -- 7 episodes -- Sept. 26, 2010 to Nov. 07, 2010 -- Completed